Dear TwitterJan 8, 2010 In Web Culture By Nishant Kothary
I've been thinking about this for some time and I think it's time we talk, Twitter
First off, I’m sorry I’m writing you a letter and not talking to you directly. It’s just, I express myself better in writing (in no small thanks to you, of course). Where do I begin?
Over the holidays, I thought a lot about us. Where our relationship is headed, what we’ve been doing these past few years, all that. I guess I just totally “unplugged” on vacation and it felt really, really good.
To be honest, I feel like it’s just not working out between us.
We both know I’ve said these words before. And we also know I keep coming back. I mean, you’re so good to me. You let me be myself: brutally honest or wicked hilarious. You make me feel popular, like thousands of people hang on my every word. When I’m bored,sad or lonely,you’re just… there. Part of me will always love you, Twitter.
Talking to my therapist over Christmas, though, I had this huge realization: we’re completely emotionally fused. I see codependency around the corner. It’s not just your fault—it’s mine too.
You know I’m not as differentiated as I should be. I find my sense of self through what others think about me. My therapist calls this “other-validation”. He says it’s not my fault; I just developed that way.
And you don’t make it easy. In fact, you encourage seeking validation from others. You even reward it! Witty one-liners, passive aggression, hate mongering, emphatic endorsements, and showing off get me the sweet gift of a RT, an @ reply, # tags and more followers.
It’s a vicious and regressive cycle, Twitter! I’ve stopped using my neocortex. My reptilian brain has taken over and I feel like one of Pavlov’s dogs, making snap judgments and salivating all over the place. Now I’m even obsessing over you in my downtime, like when I run.
The running thing is the last straw. I’m getting scared. So let’s nip this in the bud.
Starting now, I’m going to do all those healthy things that turn me into mammal whose neocortical brain is in charge. Things like reading. Hanging out with my wife. And friends. Playing my guitar. Listening to music. Indulging my Netflix habit. Having conversations without character limits.
Yes, I know what you’re going to say—that I already do all these things. And you’re right. I do, kinda. But going forward, I think it’s best that you don’t join me when I do them. Please don’t make yourself a part of those experiences without my conscious permission.
But let’s not get carried away. This is not the end. I’ll still come hang out every now and then. I value your spirit, and what you’ve tried to do for me, and some of things you brought to my life. I’ve met wonderful people because of you. You’ve created opportunities for me. Our relationship has helped me understand myself better and inspired a new and healthy level of introspection.
Yes, I think you’ll be fine.
So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye,
A Recovering Twitterer
p.s. feel free to share this with your other friends, Twitter. Maybe they’ve gone through the same emotions? Maybe they’ve dealt with it in a different way? I’d love to hear their thoughts below.
p.p.s Feel free to follow us on… Twitter :-)